Nothing beats the warmth and taste of a wonderful pumpkin soup. But the preparation can be fiddly, particularly time taken over the peeling of the pumpkin. Not a problem says guest author Margaret Paton — freelance writer, teacher and organic gardener, who gives us a few ideas on how to cook this wonderful recipe easily and quickly, with definitely no compromise on flavour, and with a few time-saving tips thrown in!
You can’t go past a $2 pumpkin or when one of your friends bequeaths you with a humungous scrumptious cucurbit! But who wants to slave away with a knife to peel and cut into wedges a hard raw pumpkin? Unnecessary work.
Here’s a recipe for a hearty meal-in-a-bowl pumpkin soup, that’s easy-peasy and adaptable to your fav’ flavours. The key is to oven roast the whole pumpkin (no need to prick it or cover it with foil either). Set the oven to about 160 degrees (low to moderate heat) and allow to warm up before placing the pumpkin in there on foil or baking paper. In about two or so hours you’ll be able to push a knife easily into the soft flesh right to the centre. Take out to cool.
Whole pumpkin (we used a Kent Pumpkin, Cucurbita moschate, which yielded about just under 2kg of flesh)
Splash of oil – sunflower or olive
Small knob of butter
Two large white onions
Salt and pepper to taste
Other vegetables you choose to add (we added about half a cup each of chopped corn and cabbage)
Three cloves of garlic, crushed
To serve: yogurt/sour cream, a couple sprigs of fresh herbs, bread
Roast whole pumpkin as above. When cool, you’ll be able to peel off the skin to reveal the nutty sweet cooked flesh. Scoop the flesh out, separating it from the seeds which your chooks or compost bin will love. Set aside this pumpkin flesh for the soup.
Chop the onion into finger-nail size pieces
Fry onion with oil and butter on medium heat until translucent, add the salt and pepper to taste
Add your chopped vegetables and the garlic, stir and heat through to soften
Start adding your pumpkin flesh and mix through well.
If it’s too thick for your liking as a soup, add boiled water and keep stirring until you get your preferred consistency.
Ladle into warm bowls.
Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream
Decorate with chopped up fresh herbs such as thyme and/or rosemary
Serve with your favourite bread – focaccia bread goes well with it
The flavours improve if you leave the cooked soup for a day in the fridge.
We also make a curry version of this soup using curry powder or a couple tablespoons of Laksa paste and a whole tin of either coconut cream or milk. Match with herbs to suit – lemongrass or coriander, for example.